• Date - 04/08/2007
  • Elevation - 8,800'
  • Route - Spiral Staircase
  • Miles - 1.0
  • Elevation Gain - 300'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Brian Kooienga, John Brookhouse


Brian's long time friend, John Brookhouse, was on vacation in Colorado skiing and decided to take a day off to go ice climbing.  Fortunately, I was allowed to tag along and after seeing that the Shroud in Officer's Gulch was pretty much gone for the season, we decided to try Vail, Colorado.  On the approach hike, we went past the Fang and Rigid Designator which were no longer climbable.  We made our way to the Spiral Staircase which was fairly beat out on the left side, but still had plenty of ice to climb.

It was my turn to lead after Hidden Falls, so after Brian put me on belay I was off.  The climb was relatively easy with soft ice.  I ended up putting three screws in before topping out and bringing Brian up to clean the route.  We then set up a top rope off a huge tree and then rigged a directional sling to eliminate anyone from taking a huge swing if they came off.

The three of us climbed all day on several different lines.  We had a great day with perfect weather and styrofoam ice.  It was John's first time ice climbing and I think he enjoyed himself.  Although the left side was hooked out, the right side of the falls was fairly stiff and challenging.  After everyone was burned out, we broke down the top rope and hiked back to the vehicle on the golf course.